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Living the Dream: One CD at a Time

by Marc Gunn, Bard

I read somewhere not too long ago that someone was lamenting that artists are putting out too many albums without spending enough time promoting them. Well, I hate to say it, but my group, the Brobdingnagian Bards, is guilty of such a crime.

You see, when I started The Bards a couple years ago, I knew that bands needed a product. So we recorded our first album, "Marked By Great Size", bought a CD burner, and started producing the CDs ourselves to sell at gigs.

Six months later, we released our second album, "Gullible's Travels". By this time, we'd only had a few decent reviews of our first album, but we'd sold a couple hundred CDs after playing at numerous Renaissance Festivals. Now, our second album was underway.

We recorded it, and got a whopping one review for the album. But with extensive gigging we sold a couple hundred copies of this album.

Six months later, we completed our third album, "Songs of the Muse". By this time, we starting to wonder if we were stretching ourselves too thin. Andrew was duping all the CDs while I was getting them printed. And his burner wasn't quite fast enough to keep up with the demand for CDs. But it was about this time that we got started on mp3.com, and we got introduced to DAM CDs, a much easier way to produce CDs when you have several, but can't afford to mass produce any.

All of a sudden, the reason for our recording CD after CD made sense. We could get paid for people listening to our music, and the more music you have the more money you made. Talk to Ernesto Cortazar and 303infinity if you disagree.

Now, we could order CD one-offs from MP3.com, sell them at gigs for $10-15, and make a nice profit while our music climbed the charts. But did I promote "Songs of the Muse"?

Well, we started recording for our next albums (yes, plural) at the beginning of 2001. We've done some minor promotion of our album, and quite honestly, SOM is the best of our albums, and now our first mass-produced CD. So yes, we should do more promotion for it, and we are. But no, we are still not spending all of our extra income promoting this or another album why? Why are we recording more albums.

Well first, "Songs of the Muse" was recorded to meet a very specific market. It's an all instrumental album, and was designed to get us wedding gigs, which it does quite nicely.

But the other reason we don't is because we are meeting our goals...making a living.

While some are after a record deal or becoming the next pop star, we are on a journey. Yes, I'd like to be a pop star. Sure, I wouldn't mind having a record deal. But our music is still evolving. We have a long way to go before I feel we are ready for that record deal or super-stardom. The first step is making a living.

That's what living the dream is all about. You have to take care of the basics first. In my case, it involves getting out of debt, building a regular income, building a following, and one day earning enough from the music to quit my day job so I can become a full-time musician. Does it matter that our first few albums may never be heard? No. It doesn't. Those first albums will be Collector's Editions once we get there. ;)

Once those goals are met, then I can work on my dreams of super-stardom. Yes, I am working on those steps now. I'm not gonna find a publicist to promote us unless we are guaranteed a decent return on our money. But I will continue to get our music to local publications, slowly but surely. And one day, you're gonna read a message from me saying, "I am now living the dream!"

Marc Gunn, Bard of the Brobdingnagian Bards has helped 1000's of musicians make money with their musical groups through the BardsCrier.com and the Texas Musicians Network. Now you can get personal advice by visiting http://bardscrier.com for FREE "how-to" music marketing assistance.

No time to visit the site? Subscribe to The Bards Crier.com distributed weekly for Free: mailto:subscribe@bardscrier.com

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